IG identifies ‘concerns’ with Defense Department phone messaging apps to probe missing Jan. 6 texts


The Defense Department’s inspector general said in a letter to Congress this week that his office has identified “concerns” about calls to investigate the department’s failure to preserve texts after Jan. 6, 2021, related to the department’s use of messaging apps.

Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell told Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, who requested the investigation, that his office will provide an advisory regarding the department’s use of mobile messaging apps, “which we believe will be relevant to the concerns raised in your report letter.” ” to request a review.

“This advisory will inform DoD officials responsible for supporting the use of mobile applications of concerns we identified in our ongoing audit of Defense Digital Service (DDS) support for DoD programs and operations,” O’Donnell said, according to the Judiciary’s Tuesday letter. Committee Democrats Posted on Twitter on wednesday

In a footnote, O’Donnell said the audit looked at whether the misuse of mobile device apps was a “DoD concern.”

In August, after it was revealed that the phones of senior Defense Department and Army officials were wiped at the end of the Trump administration, Undersecretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks issued a department-wide memo instructing department leaders: “In accordance with existing DoD instructions, DoD.” users must retain text messages that serve as federal records.”

Hicks directed the department’s chief information officer and general counsel to “evaluate DoD policies and procedures” to ensure compliance with the Federal Records Act.

The inspector general also told Durbin in the letter that his office was planning an audit of the Defense Department’s actions to retain its electronic records and whether its approach complied with federal law.

“As part of the review, we will look at reviewing DoD’s processes for retaining text messages on DoD-issued cell phones when DoD employees leave their positions, including processes in place today and after Jan. 6, 2021,” O’Donnell said. his letter

Durbin asked the inspector general for a review after CNN reported on court filings that revealed the department wiped the phones of senior Trump administration officials, deleting texts from key witnesses to the events surrounding the attack on the US Capitol.